Home (The X-Files)

"Home" is the second episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files, which originally aired on the Fox network on October 11, 1996. Directed by Kim Manners, it was written by Glen Morgan and James Wong. "Home" is a "Monster-of-the-Week" story, unconnected to the overarching mythology of The X-Files. Watched by 18.85 million viewers, the initial broadcast had a Nielsen rating of 11.9. "Home" would be the only episode of The X-Files to carry a TV-MA rating upon broadcast and the first to receive a viewer discretion warning for graphic content if the system had been present at the time; the TV Parental Guidelines rating system would be introduced two months later, on December 19, 1996. Critics were generally complimentary, and praised the disturbing nature of the plot; several made comparisons to the work of director Tobe Hooper. Some reviewers felt the violence was excessive.

The X-Files episode
The Peacock family burying their child alive. Due to its graphic nature, as illustrated by this scene, "Home" became the first episode of The X-Files to receive a viewer discretion warning.
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 2
Directed byKim Manners
Written by
Production code4X03[1]
Original air dateOctober 11, 1996 (1996-10-11)
Running time44 minutes[2]
Guest appearances
  • Tucker Smallwood as Sheriff Andy Taylor
  • Sebastian Spence as Deputy Barney Paster
  • Judith Maxie as Barbara Taylor
  • Chris Nelson Norris as Edmund Peacock
  • John Trottier as George Peacock
  • Adrian Hughes as Sherman Peacock
  • Karin Konoval as Mrs. Peacock[3]
Episode chronology
The X-Files (season 4)
List of episodes

The series centers on FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), who work on cases linked to the paranormal, collectively called "X-Files". Mulder is a believer in the paranormal; the skeptical Scully was initially assigned to debunk his work, but the two have developed a deep friendship. In this episode, Mulder and Scully investigate the death of a baby born with severe physical defects. Traveling to the small isolated town of Home, Pennsylvania, the pair meet the Peacocks, a family of deformed farmers who have not left their house in a decade. Initially, Mulder suspects the brothers kidnapped and raped a woman to father the child, but the investigation uncovers a long history of incest involving the Peacocks' own mother.

"Home" marks the return of writers Morgan and Wong, who left the show following its second season. They attempted to make the episode as ambitious and shocking as possible and were inspired by real-life events, including the documentary Brother's Keeper and a story from Charlie Chaplin's autobiography about an encounter with a family in rural Wales. The graphic content of the script attracted controversy from early in the production process. Commentators have identified themes within the episode that satirize the American Dream, address globalization, and explore the nature of motherhood. It has been cited as a seminal episode of The X-Files by critics and crew members.